WELL-KNOWN local oncology advocate Glenn Cotter is a man of many colours.
Many would know of him either with his motorcyclist’s black leathers, or perhaps his pink-tinged support of the Bega District Hospital oncology unit.
However, now he is also wearing the yellow of the Cancer Council.
Mr Cotter has been appointed the MPL – MP liaison – for this region.
He is the go-between for the Cancer Council to have its message heard by politicians such as Member for Bega Andrew Constance.
“It’s a national campaign, but new for this area,” he said.
“MPLs work directly with local members, and I’m fortunate that here it is Andrew Constance.
“He has a big profile as State Treasurer, but he is also passionate about his region.
“Likewise, we’re passionate about what we do.”
Mr Cotter said it will be his role to keep Mr Constance up to date with the Cancer Council’s programs and where it could use the support of State Government – especially with its Vision for Change initiative, officially launched Friday (BDN, 22/8).
Among the five key issues the Cancer Council has highlighted for action by politicians is bringing to an end the chemotherapy co-payment, whereby cancer patients requiring chemo are often dealt with as outpatients and therefore required to pay for their drug regime.
“I’m her to make sure Andrew knows everything we are doing and the programs we have,” Mr Cotter said.
“And the chemo co-payment is so relevant down here.
“My wife is a dual survivor – first breast cancer in 2011 and then, due to the radiation treatment, she got leukaemia.
“We were paying around $400 for each chemo treatment, and over that time the person isn’t working as well as trying to find that money.”
However, Mr Cotter said there were bright linings to the dark cloud of cancer.
“We are blessed in this area for the services we have,” he said.
“There is massive support through the oncology unit and massive support from the McGrath Foundation.
“People just have to know where to go for support.”
The first step along finding that support could have been meeting Mr Cotter and his fellow “hairy bikers” at Friday’s Daffodil Day stall in Ayres Walkway, Bega.
“We are out there having fun – and more importantly, being visual.”